Plain and Precious Truths Restored Lesson 27: Sections 74, 77, 86, 91, 113

Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324-325, (1981), 53–54


Theme

The Doctrine and Covenants contains many plain and precious truths restored to the earth through Joseph Smith.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    Through the devil’s work of apostasy, many of God’s plain and precious truths have been taken from the Bible.

    1. 1.

      These truths were left out through carelessness or removed by evil and designing men who were anxious to change the biblical text.

    2. 2.

      As a result the Bible can sometimes be a stumbling block to the children of God.

  • B.

    As part of the work of the Restoration, God provided the means of removing this stumbling block by giving “other books.”

    1. 1.

      The Doctrine and Covenants helps in this important work of restoration.

    2. 2.

      The Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible also contain many of the “plain and precious truths” which have been restored.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Sections 74, 77, 86, 91, 113

Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.

Standard Works

Basic Library

  • Teachings, pp. 10-11. Have there been many important truths taken from the Bible?

  • Teachings, p. 61. Are there other truths not found in the Bible?

  • Teachings, p. 327. Why does the Bible contain many errors?

  • DS, 3:190-91. Do we need scriptures other than the Bible?

  • Gos. Doc, p. 45. Does the Doctrine and Covenants contain principles which are revealed in greater clarity than in the other scriptures?

Additional Sources

  • Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 453-54. “Only a small part of the recorded revelations and scriptural writings of the past are now available to men.” A discussion of why.

  • “Christ and the Old Testament,” Church News, 22 Jan. 1966, p. 16. What was the Bible like before it was stripped of its plain and precious parts?

  • Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, pp. 111-12. What are the other books which God provided to restore the plain and precious things taken from the Bible?

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

What Causes Apostasy? (Discussion)

Begin by asking students to relate as many causes of apostasy as they can, and then read the following:

“Apostasy is born of the teaching of false doctrine. Nephi described our present religious world by saying, There shall be many which shall teach … false and vain and foolish doctrines,’ and by specifying that ‛Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted.’ Speaking of the whole world, he said: ‛They have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.’ Then he added this awful interdiction: ‛And all those who preach false doctrines, … wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!’ (2 Ne. 28:8-15.)” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 205.)

Point out that men of the world are in an apostate condition not so much because they wish to be, but because they are blind leaders of the blind. Why are these leaders blind?

Read 1 Nephi 13:26-29. Many plain and precious truths are missing from the Bible, the book which many Christians hold to be the word of God. Having only part of the truth causes men to “stumble” in darkness, to err innocently.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie writes: “Apostles and prophets have been set in the Church for the purpose of teaching and identifying true doctrine, lest men be ‛tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.’ (Eph. 4:11-14.) If a church has no prophets and apostles, then it has no way of knowing whether its doctrines are true or false. ‛Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.’ (2 John 9.)” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 205.)

The Lord planned to remove blindness and apostasy through the restoration of the gospel. Read 1 Nephi 13:32-34, 39. Point out the reference to “other books” in verse 39. Ask the class to name these other books. Then, discuss one by one, in brief fashion, how the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, the Joseph Smith Translation, and the Doctrine and Covenants help to remove men’s stumbling blocks. Ask the students to be specific as to how these “other books” help to clarify the Bible. (A good example is the question of the baptism of little children; see D&C 74:7; Moroni 8:8-21.)

At this point lead students into an examination of various added doctrinal insights found in Doctrine and Covenants 74, 77, 86, 113, and elsewhere. Point out also that in his sermons and in the Joseph Smith Translation, the Prophet made numerous changes through inspiration from the Lord in an effort to clarify doctrine and to restore truths that had been lost in earlier ages. Transparency 11, “The Doctrine and Covenants Clarifies Other Scripture,” could be used as part of your discussion. Conclude with the following statement by Joseph Fielding Smith:

“We are all aware that there are errors in the Bible due to faulty translations and ignorance on the part of translators; but the hand of the Lord has been over this volume of scripture nevertheless, and it is remarkable that it has come down to us in the excellent condition in which we find it. Guided by the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Spirit of the Lord, it is not difficult for one to discern the errors in the Bible.

“The Church uses the King James Version of the Bible because it is the best version translated by the power of man.

“The revision of the Bible which was done by Joseph Smith at the command of the Lord was not a complete revision of the Bible. There are many parts of the Bible in which the Prophet did not change the meaning where it is incorrect. He revised as far as the Lord permitted him at the time, and it was his intention to do more, but because of persecution this was not accomplished. However, all that he did is very helpful for the major errors have been corrected.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:191.)